issue 73 – letters – self-reliance – preparedness – homestead

Letters To The Editor

From Issue #73

Thank you

Your magazine is truly the “light” in our lives. It has provided us comfort when there wasn’t any knowing that inside your issues were the answers to many problems that we could simply “follow the instructions” and get on with a more self-reliant attitude.

Mr. Troy Hammond & family
Rogers City, MI


I have really enjoyed the way the magazine has developed over the years. I said it then and I will say it again. Thank you for a publication that I can leave out on the coffee table, without anyone thinking I’m strange. Well no stranger than usual anyway.

Dennis & Dory Wooley
Oklahoma City, OK

Can’t survive without BHM

OK, OK, OK, I give up. I thought I could survive without Backwoods Home. I can’t. Enclosed is my check.

David Wallace Johnson
Superior Township, MI

Hydro/gun articles

We are building a homestead in the mountains doing everything ourselves. The property is off the grid so thanks for the articles on hydro power. We bought the solar portawattz power pac you advertised and really like it. Our most fun project had been a wood fired hot tub. Nothing like it after a hard day working. And thanks Ayoob for all the information and insight on gun ownership!

Cyndi Ream, Colville, WA

Duffy for president

Just read “Should we retaliate against terrorists?” Have you considered running for president? Finally someone with a sensible world-view! Too bad some of the folks inside the “Beltway” don’t have this much wisdom.

Troy Craig, Marysville, WA

For Claire Wolfe

I’ve just discovered BHM today, and I found your article. It has many good points useful as information for those who don’t know, and a review for those of us that do.

However, I must take exception with your statement, “Other groups that have continued to do heroes’ work at a time when the world is turning from freedom include the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Free Congress Foundation.”

My exposure to the ACLU is that they practice “pick and choose” support of civil liberties according to their own agenda. For example, while they support a pornographer’s “right” to publish filth as “freedom of speech,” they reject my right to own and use firearms to defend life and home as something that is outdated, or never the intent of the 2nd Amendment in the first place. Instead, the ACLU would have us depend on the police, and the national guard (militia???), which, if new laws take more civil liberties from us, will be the means of enforcing those laws.

I will subscribe to BHM and continue to read your articles, but I hope you see the inconsistency in recommending the ACLU as a defender of our freedoms.

Steve Smith, Layton, UT

How ironic Claire Wolfe’s article should appear in a magazine that purchased my name and subscription information from another magazine publisher who had a privacy policy that evidently wasn’t worth the paper it was written upon.

I do like Backwoods Home and had planned to subscribe, but I don’t appreciate your acquiring my information in such a manner. Do you plan to walk the talk?

Name and address withheld

Pocket Constitutions

I’ve been sort of handing out pocket copies of the Constitution and Bill of Rights at a pretty good clip lately. Enclosed is $60. Please send me another 20 copies.

Lee McGee, Jeanerette, LA

Filling a void

I felt lack of a millennium civil disruption or disaster caused the demise of A.S.G. No one envisioned the tragic events of 9-11-01 and the crisis bestowed upon America.

With the anthrax terrorism, the scare of mass smallpox infection, and the anxiety of facing an unstable future, the citizens are searching for answers.

The media offers little for self preservation and protection. Militaristic magazines don’t present for the general population. Civil defense literature is from the cold war era of the 1950s and is far obsolete.

It is time for a magazine, such as Backwoods Home, to step up and fill the void with information Americans urgently seek.

I trust that you have contacted the former advertisers of A.S.G. Advertisers are a vital resource for those of us seeking specific products or information.

I am unfamiliar with your format as far as self-help medical articles. Having been an army medic and a ten year American Red Cross instructor, I found most medical articles in A.S.G were accurate and educational.

Here’s my check for a two year subscription, and a “thank you” for your informative magazine.

Ron Trimble, Modesto, CA

A 2nd revolution

I enjoyed Claire Wolfe’s article but I do not like to be classed as an outlaw because I choose to live free by the Constitution which is in support of my God given rights as a human being. You might as well face it. The Fascists, Socialists, wanabe dictators, have control of the country. They are the ones who make the laws, regulations etc. at all levels of government. The are not going to give up all the control, power and money they have taken from the people…

George Smith, Jr., Moravia, NY

4×4 living

I enjoyed your article, “Tips and handy hints for 4×4 living,” and have a few additional points your readers may find useful.

First, in deep snow, sand or mud, or on rocky terrain you can increase traction dramatically by reducing air pressure in our tires. A tire at lower pressure has a larger footprint and is more pliable. I use my truck for occasional rock crawling and routinely lower the tires to about 10-15 PSI. Note, of course that these pressures are not safe for prolonged highway use.

Additionally, locking differentials such as Detroit Lockers or PowerTrax LockRights are indispensable when navigating truly difficult terrain. In a truck with open differentials (standard equipment on most vehicles) when one tire begins to slip, virtually all engine power is transferred to the slipping tire and traction is effectively lost. With a locker, power is split equally between the wheels and the tire which is not slipping will continue to move the truck. After owning vehicles with lockers I find 4×4’s without them are akin to 2 wheel drive vehicles in comparison.

I’m glad to see the warning with respect to tow straps and winch cables. When these break they can be deadly to anyone within range.

Seth Ambrose,

Responding to terrorism

I’m just about to subscribe to BHM for the first time. I’ve been reading it from the newsstand for two years now. I also read American Survival Guide/Self-Reliance Journal, before they decided to go CPC (California Politically Correct) and went belly-up.

My experience as a trained SWAT member and several years of schools that dug into the terrorist’s mind, have lead me to believe, we must retaliate; and retaliate hard. This is the only thing they understand. A former Islamic Militant that taught one school said that most terrorists believe that we will not retaliate, or if we do, it will be a cruise missile on a building or two, but no real consequences. He stated that this is the reason they do not fear the USA. However, look at Israel. You may find an occasional car bomb, etc. in Israel, but these bad guys know that anything they do that causes big harm, will result in a serious butt-whippin’ by the Star of David, that involves a lot of screaming, death and destruction. Simply put, we haven’t learned how to play the game yet. Study a little history on Israel, and you’ll find that most of the terrorist attacks are Palestinian Militants trying to get some land back. But the big guys, like Bin-Laden, talk big about destroying Israel, but usually steer clear of it. They know what will happen.

It’s kind of simple; they destroy one of our buildings, we destroy one of their cities. They blow up a square block, we blow up 10 square miles. They will get the message and so will the countries that support them. Israel has not stayed alive by sitting back and worrying about what the terrorists are going to do next. They have aggressive intelligence, and a butt-kickin attitude. These terrorists know that Americans are sitting at home thinking, “Oh my, if we retaliate, they will only hit us harder.” That my friend is why we are the target! By the way, don’t be fooled by the suitcase nuke thing. Yes the media has played it time and again, but don’t be fooled into thinking that every terrorist out there has one ready to go. It’s just not that simple. It could happen, but not quite yet. It depends on our actions, and how badly we want to stop these guys.

Donnie B.,

Reflects my views

Along with the renewal of my subscription is a note of appreciation for a publication that reflects my political views. I taught in a public school for forty years and I have seen evidence that there is still a deep conservative streak in the political strata of the U.S. and this streak of conservatism needs to be nourished, cultivated—it needs to be exposed to the “light” of publicity, have questions asked (questions reveal strengths and weaknesses.)…

Gerald Crisp, Buras, LA

ASG readers

Too bad American Survival Guide had to become politically correct and fold. But I feel your magazine surpasses them.

Your publication is moving up on my list of “must read” right beside the American Free Press (formerly the Spotlight.)

Sad, that in this country, so many papers and magazines bow to the controlling establishment, never questioning news and releases or presenting the public with the information they need to make the right choices. Not that many would know what to do with it. Seems as most of the sheeple don’t want the truth.

Robert D. Schaffer, Marsing, ID

Many thanks for picking up that defunct mag and fulfilling their subscription obligations with a fabulous magazine. We love BHM.

The McKinleys, Smithville, TX

I have received your “complimentary” copy of Backwoods Home Magazine. Thank you. I was a subscriber to ASG for nearly ten years. I wrote to them and spoke with Mr. Benson several times on the phone. I was disappointed with the change made to ASG when they went “PC” and wrote to Mr. Benson telling him I was not renewing my subscription and told him I felt they had “sold out.” That is the reason I had one issue remaining when they folded. I had no fore knowledge they were folding until I received your magazine.

I will tell you that you seem like a breath of truth after the sad decline of ASG.

Wallace Brucker, Dallas, TX

Welcome back to relevant issues! Speaking as one who was about to become a former subscriber to ASG (and unasked recipient of SRJ) I was delighted to see that the third change was the charm. I will be renewing my subscription and enthusiastically recommending your publication to my many outdoorsman friends. I am particularly interested in off-grid power systems. Here in beautiful Arizona we have more sun than we know what to do with. Photovoltaic energy is the most ecologically conscionable resource for electrical generation in existence and along with wind and hydro driven systems could reduce the rate at which our worldwide fossil fuel resources are being expended. Excuse my leap onto the soap box. Off-grid is becoming a driving issue for me and any resource for practical measures is a blessing. Again, welcome to our coffee table, and don’t change a thing…please!

Charles F. Knight, Phoenix, AZ

Dictatorship series

I have been a subscriber of BHM for several years now. When each issue of BHM arrives, I’m like a little kid with a new toy—just can’t wait to get into it. But with each issue after reading your latest addition to “The coming American dictatorship,” I have to restrain myself not to run out and collar everyone I know to get them to read it.

My wife suggested I submit it to the newspapers, since she knows how much I love to put in my two cents worth submitting letters to the editors—and have had quite a few printed, too (even one in BHM.) After carefully explaining it’s much too lengthy to be accepted in the letters section, she said “Well, you’ll just have to shorten it, won’t you?” So I did.

Sir, I want to apologize for plagiarizing your article. I tried to credit you as the author but the editor wouldn’t print it if I wouldn’t sign my name to it. I hope you will forgive me. There’s no way I could do justice to your written word; but, I wanted to send you the clipping of my condensed version, printed 9-6-01 in The Daily Advertiser, Lafayette, Louisiana.

Lee McGee, Jeanerette, LA

Chicken house

Thank you for the info about Ford, Chevy and the others. I need to get another vehicle and you have helped me make my decision. As for the others, I will be very careful and not buy their items. As for the hen house, “This coop is for the birds,” I would not chink stones or what-have-you under the 4x4s. Easy access for varmints to get in. I would bury 2 ft high x 1″ chicken fence heavy gauge about 12-18″ in the ground, put up a 5’x2″ fence around the sides and top, then wire them together (bottom as well)…As for the roof—rolled grit tar paper is fine double coverage—better, but not necessary. As for the size of the coop 4’x6’=24 sq. ft. There’s enough room for 6 to 7 hens. Raise the nest box up 1 ft. from the floor. (More room for the chickens.)

I have a coop that’s 21 years old…I keep 15-16 hens and a rooster…3 to 4 more birds than needed but it works. The birds keep themselves warm in the winter, but I put an infrared light in the house for cold winter days and nights and turn it off when not needed with a timer and a 40 watt bulb for 14 hours of light in the winter (better egg product.) Keep the timer in your home as it wouldn’t last long in the coop or garage. It needs to be kept warm. I could write more on chickens, turkeys and other animals. Well I hope I have helped.

Joe Paolilli, N. Billerica, MA

Backwoods cookbook

I love your magazine but everytime that I need a recipe, I dig through all my Backwoods Home Magazines or the anthologies. Boy, it would be wonderful for us gals to have a backwoods home cookbook to use in our kitchens, and it would be a compilation of all the recipes you have ever printed. I know I would pay a handsome sum for this book! What do you think? I saw you at the Portland expo center and bought one more anthology and some magazines. It was the Y2K convention. Loved it. Thanks.


I think that’s a great idea. I’ll do the work if Dave will give the ok for the project. —Ilene

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